Thank God It's Monday®! Blog

Drink Good Books

My son and I had a ritual when he was little because we both love books, that every Sunday morning in the latter part of the morning, we would drive over to the Barnes and Noble and we would look at books for hours. We would walk out of there with bags of books, take them home, and spend the entire week reading them.

Devouring good books is one of the best ways to develop your mind, to learn new things, to invest in yourself, to see what’s possible, and yet so many people wait to hear only from other people’s knowledge.

There are many good books that will inspire you and help you learn new ways of doing things. No one who has ever created greatness has done it without receiving other people’s knowledge, and one of the best ways to do that is by devouring great books.

Is Your Communication Unknowingly Violent?

Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti once remarked that observing without evaluating is the highest form of human intelligence. Hmm, what does that mean? Well, it’s easy for us to say, “Tom procrastinates,” instead of, “Tom often misses his work deadlines.” One is evaluation, the other one is an observation. “Barb is a bad salesperson,” is very different than, “Barb hasn’t had more than three sales since the beginning of the year.” Or, “You never do what I want,” versus, “The last three times I asked you to join me, you declined.”

When we collapse distinctions, we begin to get upset about things that are not worth being upset about. We begin to lose perspective on what really matters. We hurt people with our words. It’s one of the violent communications listed in the book “Nonviolent Communications”, and one of the ways that we hurt people with the best of intentions in our hearts. And yet, the result is the same regardless. And so, think today about not collapsing distinctions, but instead simply listing observations, as opposed to making your evaluations based upon those observations.

The Smartest Investment You Can Make

Are you worth it? I mean, are you really worth it? The best investment you will ever make is an investment in you, in your development, in your possibilities, in your learning, in your ability to figure out things and tie things together. Yet, most people wait for their organization to invest in them. That doesn’t mean you need to go pay for your own graduate school or take some fancy courses, but it does mean that there are free courses available everywhere. There is free learning everywhere. There’s also some inexpensive learning that you can pick up as well.

I have found that the people who move ahead in life are those who are voracious readers, who are unstoppable in their learning. Because they learn a little bit from over here and a little bit from over there, they tie things together and become very intuitive at solving problems that other people can’t solve. The question that I have to ask you is, “Are you worth it?” Will you invest in the most important investment you’ll ever make, the investment in you?

How to Find Your “Easy” in Difficult Times

Are you ok with life being hard? Because…guess what? It kinda sorta, is and it remains that way. And so, yes, in many ways we’ve had “easy street.” In many ways, things were better before. These are challenging times, and life is filled with hard things yet it’s also filled with joy along the way. When we toughen up and accept the fact that life is hard, then everything gets a lot easier. And so, are you still evaluating your life based upon what you wish it would be, or do you accept the way that it is and instead focus on what kind of progress can be made from here? It’s a legitimate question worth asking every single day.

A Lifetime of Wisdom in One Small Book

I’ve had the great opportunity in my life to speak at a lot of conventions in a lot of industries, and, as a result, I’ve been in the green room with Barbara Bush. But my favorite character I ever got to spend a whole dinner with before speaking together on the same stage is someone who I continue to be a fan of today, Robert Fulghum.

This is a guy who for years was a number-one best-selling author and wrote a book called All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. You can see he signed his book off to me, but I want to read to you what he talks about in the book. He says:

“All these things I learned in kindergarten – share everything, play fair, don’t hit people, put things back where you found them, clean up your own mess, don’t take things that aren’t yours, say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody, wash your hands before you eat, flush, warm cookies and cold milk are good for you, live a balanced life, learn some and dream some and draw some and paint some and sing some and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic – hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup, the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the styrofoam cup, they all die. So do we. And then remember the Dick and Jane books and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all, look.”

I loved this man from the minute I met him and his enthusiastic way of addressing life. What a wonderful way to keep it simple—to remember the things we learned in kindergarten.